CNN president Jeff Zucker says President Donald Trump – livid about a guest who appeared on the cable news network – called him at home and yelled for 2 minutes.
"It was not a good conversation," Zucker said Tuesday at the Keshet INTV media conference in Jerusalem.
"That evening I was at home watching CNN and the phone rang, and I said 'hello.' He said 'Jeff, Donald,' and I said 'Hi, Donald.' He was upset with a guest we had on CNN and shouted at me for two minutes and then said: 'OK, you got it? Bye' and slammed the phone down."
Zucker did not identify the guest Trump was upset about or exactly what the commander-in-chief said during his 120-second scream-fest.
Arutz Sheva reports that during his interview with Israeli TV news anchor Yonit Levi, Zucker lashed out at Trump for his ongoing disparaging of reporters and media outlets.
"It's incredibly dangerous and unprecedented that Trump is calling the media 'the enemy of the people,"' Zucker said.
"And it's important for us not to be intimidated by it and not to back off in any way. I think it's our responsibility in the media to hold those in power accountable, and that's what we'll continue to do."
He said he found it "shocking" to see some lawmakers in Washington remaining silent over Trump's incendiary allegations.
"They are afraid of him, they left aside their responsibility to free journalism and free media. The facts are that most of them didn't stand up for us," Zucker said.
But the cable chief added the Trump phenomenon has triggered "an extraordinary time in journalism … Many organizations in the United States have never done better work. This is really the renaissance of journalism in America because of the nature of what's going on."
But he added he was concerned about journalists just doing their jobs.
"I always worried about the safety of journalists outside the U.S. I never thought I would be concerned for their welfare in the U.S. We should not feel intimidated by this and back off from our professional duty," Zucker told Levi.
"When we report and maintain our right to report the facts we are not trying to be vindictive, we are merely doing our jobs. Nobody claims that Donald Trump did not win the election fairly. I think he believes that the media is hinting that he did not win legitimately but that is not true."
In the past, Trump has accused CNN and other media outlets of reporting "fake news" about him and his administration.
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